In August 2011, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), in consultation with the Departments of Treasury and Housing and Urban Development, issued a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting ideas for strategies to enhance the Real Estate-Owned (REO) asset disposition programs of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
In September 2011, the National Safe and Healthy Housing Coalition (NSHHC), a broad coalition of more than 100 organizations working to improve housing conditions, submitted the following Healthy Housing Strategy to FHFA:
The Healthy Housing Strategy is designed to stabilize neighborhood home values by converting upgraded REO housing to rental units. The required upgrade - lead-safe window replacement - would increase home value, lower energy bills and related emissions, and prevent childhood lead poisoning. Some variation of the lease-to-own financing arrangements suggested in the NSHHC submission could also leverage low mortgage interest rates to provide safe and affordable rental housing with a lease-to-own option that could rapidly build home equity.
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